“There are a lot of people out there who think that online magazines are all a fad, that online content offers nothing but second-rate stories and recycled copy from their superior print counterparts.
That perception is changing before our eyes. Day by day online publications continue to gather more respect, break news that print magazines don’t, and rely on the same qualified writers. Online magazines are a phenomenon that’s not going anywhere soon – it’s all part of a new stage in the evolution of magazines. But that evolution is still taking place, and it’s interesting to watch.
Either way, it’s fascinating for both the reader and the journalists to get in on the ground floor. Print publications will undoubtedly survive, but don’t be surprised if the reader of the future consumes a much larger diet of online magazines. Here’s why.
The Good Old Days
The magazines of yore included a bit about just everything. General interest magazines offered a wide range of current events, fiction from contemporary writers, entertainment news, and lifestyle trends. By covering the widest possible subject matter, they hit the highest number of readers. This formula worked for years, but the readers seldom read the magazine in its entirety.
That changed soon after World War II, when magazines became much more specialized. The old general interest magazines might include a mention or two about cars. This new breed of magazine would cover nothing but cars.
As time went on, those magazines began to get more and more specialized. Now you could read about specific types of cars, specific models and years. This paid off even more. To be sure, they had a smaller audience, but that audience was far more devoted and probably read cover to cover. In short, the readers’ needs were met much more thoroughly than ever before.
The Promise of Online Magazines
Online magazines make specialization easier than ever. They have a much lower overhead, since they have no print costs. That gives online magazines more freedom to get more specific, because they can afford a smaller audience.
Take the analogy of the cars even further. Now you could probably find publications dedicated to specific cars in specific years in specific cities! Readers scanning the list of online titles can find magazines that appear as though they were written for them alone.
The quality of online magazines continues to improve with time. Many online magazines now offer aspiring writers the same pay rates as their print counterparts, and are much more willing to work with untested journalists. Watch for their names – today’s online magazine writer could make waves years from now.
Watching online magazines develop is like watching a whole new medium develop. Best yet, it’s a medium that you can shape to meet your own needs. Unlike print magazines, online editor are relatively easy to reach, giving you feedback like never before.”